New digital fine-toothed comb from Denmark is about to make more than 300 million European consumers safer
The Internet is full of dangerous products, such as mobile phone chargers that cause fires or dangerous toys for children, and as a consumer, it can be difficult to discover this at home behind the screen.
This is why Simon Kollerup, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, will press on the Start button of the new digital tool called SAFE, which was developed by the Danish Safety Technology Authority. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically search the Internet for dangerous products with a fine-toothed comb.
This means that from now on, 16 European countries can be warned about dangerous or deficient products on the market.
Until now, each country has manually searched for dangerous products sold in their respective markets.
This means that a large proportion of the resource-demanding work related to product safety will be automatic for the authorities, and everyday life will be safer for many consumers.
"I am proud that we, in Denmark, have been chosen by the EU to make a digital tool that can find unsafe products throughout Europe. This means that we help thousands of consumers, who might otherwise buy unstable hair dryers or dangerous toys for their children," says Simon Kollerup, Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs.
In 2020, the Danish Safety Technology Authority launched the new AI tool, AIME. In Denmark, AIME uses artificial intelligence to search websites for illegal products with a fine-toothed comb by scanning images and text.
In this regard, DG Grow, of the European Commission, granted funds to develop a similar tool for use throughout the EU. Since the summer of 2020, the Danish Safety Technology Authority has worked on the project, which was developed in cooperation with the Danish IT solutions company, KMD.
FACTS: How SAFE works
SAFE is an AI tool that is based on image and text recognition. Using relevant searches and images uploaded in EU databases for dangerous or deficient products, SAFE scans the Internet for identical sentences, words and images of products and similar types of patterns.
By using user feedback, the tool is constantly trained to be better at concluding whether a product is on sales websites and whether it is a real product that the tool has found.
SAFE "crawls" the Internet on a weekly basis for notifications from both Safety Gate, the European rapid alert system for dangerous products (RAPEX), and the Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance (ICSMS). SAFE generates a list of relevant results, which participating authorities can access through their interfaces to SAFE.
The countries that participate in SAFE are: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Malta